Re: What type of doctor should I be seeing for a potential pheochromocytoma?
Pheochromocytomas are generally investigated and diagnosed by either a general internist or an endocrinologist--both are specialists in internal medicine. The scan they are talking about is likely an MIBG scan which is a nuclear scan that can be used to "find" a pheo in someone suspected of having one.
When diagnosing someone suspected of having a pheo, they will first try to prove biochemically you have it by testing your urine and plasma for evidence of "metenephrines", which are compounds produced by the pheo. After this is done, since >80% of pheos happen in the adrenal glands, a CT scan of the abdomen will be done to find out which adrenal is affected. If this is negative, the next thing that can be done is either a CT scan of the chest (sometimes pheos can reside there) or by doing an MIBG scan. This is a nuclear scan whereby a radioactive analogue of norepinephrine is injected to the body--this is taken up by the pheo and it will glow on a special type of picture. Once this is done, the area which lights up on the scan can be reimaged with a CT or MRI and then the surgeon goes in and takes it out.
Last edited by mod-anon; 04-22-2009 at 10:24 PM.
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